Recognise the Signs of Animal Cruelty

Here are some signs and symptoms that we see in many of the cases we investigate:

Physical Signs

  • Untreated skin conditions that have caused loss of hair, scaly skin, bumps or rashes
  • Extreme thinness or emaciation—bones may be visible
  • Fur infested with fleas, ticks or other parasites
  • An owner kicking, hitting or otherwise physically abusing an animals
  • Animals who cower fearfully or act aggressively when their owners approach.
  • Collar so tight that it has caused a neck wound or has become embedded in the pet’s neck
  • Open wounds, signs of multiple healed wounds or an ongoing injury or illness that isn’t being treated
  • Abandonment 
  • Signs of inadequate grooming, such as extreme matting of fur, overgrown nails and dirty coat
  • Weakness, limping or the inability to stand or walk normally
  • Heavy discharge from eyes or nose
  • Visible signs of confusion or extreme drowsiness
  • Animals who have been hit by cars and have not received veterinary attention.
  • Excessive scratching of the head area, shaking of the head and dirt or discharge in eats indicative of a possible ear infection.
  • Chronic diarrhea or vomiting.
  • Swellings, such as tumors or abscesses, left untreated.
  • Illegal trapping of wild animals or animals left for extended periods in traps.
  • Rabbits with a severe head tilt.
  • Reptiles with dull, darkened skin, tremors, gaping mouth and excessive saliva, or experiencing difficulty climbing.
  • Slaughter by untrained individuals.
  • Aquatic and amphibious creatures kept in tanks with murky water.

Environmental Signs

  • Pets are tied up alone outside for long periods of time without adequate food or water, or with food or water that is unsanitary
  • Pets are kept outside in extreme weather without access to adequate shelter
  • Pets are kept in an area littered with faeces, rubbish, broken glass or other objects that could harm them
  • Animals left in a car on a hot or cold day.
  • Animals are housed in kennels or cages (very often crowded in with other animals) that are too small to allow them to stand, turn around and make normal movements possibly with too many other animals.

If you wish to report an act of cruelty or neglect or if you are concerned for the welfare of an animal, please contact us at 01 4994700 or the Gardai.

Provide as much as information as possible when reporting animal cruelty. The details that you provide can go a long way toward assisting the investigating officer. It helps to write down the type of cruelty that you have seen.